Jessica Wilkes Studio Award
Funded by Acme and supported by family and friends
Selection Criteria: Applications for current Acme Studios' tenants are now closed.
This major professional development opportunity is the result of a legacy from the artist Jessica Wilkes who died in November 2005 at the age of 56. The award was established by Acme, and Jessica’s family and friends to celebrate her life.
The annual award provides an artist with a free studio and grant to enable them to devote more of their time to their studio practice. The award, worth £10,000, is made to an artist selected from applications from current Acme studio tenants.
The Jessica Wilkes Award is currently funded for three years. If you would like to help to support artists through this award, please see the newsletter in 'Further Reading' for details of how to make a donation.
2015-16: Barry Thompson
Barry Thompson was selected as the fifth artist to receive the Jessica Wilkes Studio Award. Barry has a studio at Leven Road and was selected by a panel consisting of Melissa Appleton (Jessica’s niece), Jonathan Harvey (Chief Executive, Acme Studios), Joanna Hewison (Jessica’s sister) and Ingrid Swenson (Director, PEER).
This year we are delighted to be working in partnership with PEER, who will work with the selected artist towards a solo show, Fistful of blood and feathers, which runs from 3 June to 9 July 2016. The exhibition is supported by additional funding from Acme and PEER.
2013-14: Clare Price
The fourth recipient of the Acme Studios’ Jessica Wilkes Award is Clare Price who has a studio at Childers Street. Clare was selected by a panel consisting of Alice Appleton (Jessica’s niece), Joanna Hewison (Jessica’s sister), Alexander Wilkes (Jessica’s nephew) and Jonathan Harvey (Chief Executive, Acme Studios).
This year's award is greatly enhanced by the involvement of Liquitex who provide Clare with material, products and support throughout the year.
2010 - 2011: Andro Semeiko
The third recipient of the Acme Studios’ Jessica Wilkes Award was Andro Semeiko who has a studio at Acme’s Orsman Road building in Hackney. The award allowed Andro to broaden his practice and allowed time in his studio for experimenting.
Andro was selected by a panel consisting of Melissa Appleton (Jessica’s niece), Jane Colling (artist and friend), Jonathan Harvey (Chief Executive, Acme Studios) and Laura Hewison (Jessica’s niece). Jonathan Harvey explained the decision to select Andro: ‘The panel were excited by Andro’s recent work and felt that the award would be hugely beneficial at this point in his career.’
Andro finished his award with a solo exhibition and accompanying publication 'Lily of Blythenhale' at the Acme Project Space in November 2011.
2009 - 2010: Stephanie Kingston
The second recipient of the Jessica Wilkes Award was Stephanie Kingston, a painter based at the Galleria in Southwark. The award coincided with a change in Stephanie’s professional circumstances which meant for the first time in years she was able to dedicate a significant amount of time to her work.
Stephanie used her award to realise a project based on the former home of her aunt and uncle. The result was 'Sydney Road' an exhibition of paintings, photographs, film and collected memorabilia, as well as an accompanying publication, which was shown at the Acme Project Space in October 2010.
2008 - 2009: Howard Dyke
A panel, consisting of Joanna Hewison (Jessica’s sister), Jock McFadyen (artist and close friend of Jessica’s) and Jonathan Harvey, Co-Director, Acme Studios, selected Howard Dyke following studio visits to eight artists short-listed from a total of 40 applications.
The panel felt that the timing of the award was particularly important for Howard. Spending as many hours as possible in his studio to pursue his painting in a more focused way and reducing paid work to an absolute minimum, paid exciting dividends for Howard. Without the award he would not have been able to sustain this intense and productive period of activity and soon financial pressures would have forced him back again into more regular employment.
Howard exhibited the work he created during the year of his award at the Acme Project Space in June 2009. 'Dance of the Techno Polar Bear' was the inaugural show at the venue in Bethnal Green. More information about the show can be found in 'Further Reading'.
Barry Thompson in his studio at Leven Road with Ingrid Swenson, PEER. Photo: Fiona Haggerty (2015)
Clare Price in her studio at Childers Street, SE8. Photo: Hugo Glendinning (2011)
Andro Semeiko (right) at the opening of 'Lily of Blythenhale'. Photo: Acme Studios (2011)
Stephanie Kingston. Photo: Acme Studios (2009)
Howard Dyke at work. Photo: Acme Studios (2008)
- Acme Studios
- 44 Copperfield Road
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Between 1996 and 2012 Acme received £3.2m of capital funding from Arts Council England which supported the creation of six permanent affordable studios in London: Copperfield Road, Fire Station, Galleria, Harrow Road, Leven Road and Matchmakers Wharf. This resulted in 186 studios and 12 work/live units in four London boroughs.